Tea Party: What I Made What I Wore

handmade alice in wonderland op dress

Everything about the Alice Adventure in NYC magically fell right into place. From finding out about the ballet, to planning the event, and on top of it making an Alice themed one piece dress. I had been eying this fabric on Etsy for a while. That pesky, “don’t buy more fabric until you use what you have.” was running thru my head and I choose to ignore it.

The original vision for the dress was something very simple, more like the dresses from Jane Marple. When I had the fabric in hand however and was selecting a color to use for the collar this red won me over. Things spiraled from there when I saw how the black laces popped. Those colors cemented in the new idea to mix in elements all based on playing cards. The red and the black trims along with several trump suit charms and patches worked nicely. As a sub-theme the roses used throughout also reflect the Queen’s rose garden.

What I did stay true to was making my first lolita OP. I have given up hope altogether on Baby and AP ever making an OP to fit me. Its a love hate love relationship I admit. Several times during the tea party I was extremely conscience of how freaking comfortable my dress is. It actually fits me!! It even has a little extra room in case I overdo it on the scones and macarons. This is the bliss of making your own. So I love the brands because the entire fashion wouldn’t be here without their commitment; I hate and yet understand why they make everything one-size-fits-some; and love that because of bad sizing I finally found my sewing muse after so many years. And the ++ is that I don’t have to wear a blouse. Just slip it on and zip it up – ready to go. Well not really, but close.

The Details

card suit red and black details in the lace and roses

Once I decided to use playing card colors as the embellishments I also needed to make sure and not either overdo them and it look cosplay or end up with it looking too goth. Nothing wrong with gothic, but my aim was to keep it sweet but with a vintage feel overall.

alice in wonderland trump card lolita coordinate

I was at a point during the making of the dress where I thought I was “done” and then I happened to pull out the little red roses to try around the collar. Turns out they were even better as another accent on the grosgrain ribbons. The roses also helped to carry the collar color throughout the dress. I only had a fat quarter of the red and it was barely enough to make the mock collar and the bows on the sleeves.  If there was more I would have made a full collar and probably a bunch of other things, but that was part of the fun – make it work!

Even though the charms on the dress and headdress are silver I knew right away what accessories I wanted to wear with it. Last winter my friend gave me the cutest gold Alice and the White Rabbit earnings. I removed the original finding and made them into clip-ons (long story about pierced ears and allergies). They match well with a ring I found in Grand Central of all places that is square and has each of the card suits. I finished it off with Angelic Pretty’s card suit bracelet.

The Finished Look

photo by victorianme.tumblr.com

I absolutely adore this picture that was taken at the party. You must check out Xiaoyu’s blog on tumblr. She has mad photography skills, talented at making her own handmade items, and is such a beautiful and warm person: victorianme.tumblr.com

Bittersweet Bunny JSK

handmade bunny tea party sweet lolita jsk

If you are like me – nice, long, holiday weekends are great opportunities to tackle stagnated projects.  This one has been on my mind since April.  I really wanted to make a one piece dress out of this bunny fabric, but 2 yards is just not enough to pull off sleeves in addition to a skirt and bodice.  But then Angelic Pretty released their Cinema Doll line and in a fit of inspiration I caved and made a jumper skirt.  I started on Friday afternoon and finished yesterday.

bittersweet diy lolitabunny dress details

I made a new round of alterations to a JSK pattern I drafted last year based on McCall’s Costumes pattern M6187.  This time the straps are much thinner and I lengthened the bodice to sit at my natural waist.  The difference is about 2 additional inches in fabric and elongates the torso.  Ages ago I picked up a ton of dot tulle on eBay that I used to adapt my own take on the bib from Cinema Doll. Altogether there are 4 different black laces used on the bodice plus a little ribbon and some glass beads for the bow.  My favorite is a rose trim, that alas was very elusive when it came to my amateur photography skills.  The finishing touch is some white rose buttons.  I was worried at first about the high contrast, but am really glad I went for it after all.  The buttons tie together the rose lace and the random roses scattered across the print.

lolita bunny mood board with angelic pretty and innocent world

Since I abandoned the idea of a one piece, I did have a bit more flexibility with the amount of fabric.  The brand Innocent World often releases dresses in both a Short and a Long version.  Something that is incredibly rare in the land of lolita.  You have heard me complain before about the struggles of being an average, tall Western girl trying to wear a short, petite Asian fashion.  So taking a page out of IW’s book, I made the length of the skirt to fall below my knees.  Now I have a new challenge – that is trying to find a petticoat that is equally as long!

I haven’t stumbled across too many other uses of the Bunny Tea Party fabric.  Would love to see what others have dreamed up.  I did find one girl in Japan that has completely mastered using the fabric.  Her name is Karin Hoshikawa and she has the most adorable Tumblr.  I always get so excited to see her latest posts.  Seeing some of her work has inspired me to perhaps try using the related cat print fabric… but that will have to wait for another holiday weekend.